Why Camera Gear Costs What It Costs

Fantastic. What you actually did is perpetuate a cycle of intellectual property theft, and put your own equipment at risk by using something that has zero accountability, or any certification, made with unknown materials, in a factory where you have no idea what the conditions are like. That’s what you did.

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2017 U.S. Photojournalism Salary Survey Results – Greg Kendall-Ball

Earlier this year the New York Times’ Lens Blog shared some thoughts from Donald Winslow, a long-time photojournalist and former editor of the National Press Photographers Association’s “News Photographer” magazine, about the “uncertain future of photojournalism.” A few days later, they published a rebuttal of sorts by Leslye Davis, a NYT staffer, who begged to differ.
The pieces felt like polar opposites. “Everything is terrible” or “everything is awesome.” The truth, however, was likely somewhere in between. A friend and I chatted about these posts, and about our industry, and because we’d both been trained at the Missouri School of Journalism to back our journalism with research, we wanted some data. So, one Sunday afternoon during March Madness, we cobbled together some basic survey questions (nothing scientific) to try to get some actual numbers. We thought maybe a few dozen folks would respond, but at least we’d have a starting point.

Leica X-U Hands-On Review – Underwater Camera That’s Built to Take A Beating – Luminous Landscape

I find it interesting that the X-U hasn’t been talked about a lot more. This camera is small, compact, built like a tank, and waterproof, with a depth factor underwater at 49 feet. I took it to Hawaii and did my best to challenge its specs.

Matthew DeFeo: American Standard | LENSCRATCH

Bodybuilders are always on show.  Their work literally lives on them as they navigate the world with a unique and dedicated lifestyle. On stage as they bare it all, hard lights emphasize their slick, oiled mussels, sculpted and intimidating. Here we have American Standard, a photo series by Matthew DeFeo that documents the behind-the-scenes life of bodybuilders as they train to compete. And while I don’t necessarily believe that these bodybuilders have fully relaxed in front of the camera, ceasing to perform, I do believe that DeFeo’s photographs have given a softer touch to one of our more shocking sports.

Exposing Life Behind the Berlin Wall – The New York Times

The first time Harf Zimmermann visited East Berlin’s Hufelandstrasse neighborhood, he sensed it was unlike any other neighborhood he’d known in East Germany. Linden trees lined the streets, as did many privately-owned shops, an unusual sight in a socialist state.

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Despite Everything, Standing Proud: Portraits of the South Sudanese

In March, I went to South Sudan with the NGO, Tearfund, to document the crisis. I’d been warned about what to expect from a number of photographers. Some had taken me to one side, telling me in hushed tones that famine is one of the hardest things to witness, and cautioned that I should mentally prepare for what I was about to see. Others warned me not to be ‘disappointed’ if I didn’t see the emaciated bodies and scenes from the well-documented famines from the end of the last century. ‘These days it’s more complex, hunger is harder to see, the effects are hidden away.’

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The Grisly Spectacle of Lucha Libre Extrema

assignment for a Mexican magazine, photographer Annick Donkers found herself angling for an invitation to a particular car wash outside of Mexico City. On some nights, this car wash transforms into a venue for the hardcore wrestling style called Lucha Libre Extrema. Illegal in the city for its brutality — Annick told me there are “basically no rules” — it’s difficult for journalists and outsiders to get invited. Once inside, she had to protect her camera for fear that it might get shattered when she approached for close shots of the wrestlers. Intrigued by the appeal this extreme sport holds for spectators, which include women and children, Annick says her work aims to observe but not judge. For Polarr, we spoke about the project.

Michelle Van Parys: The States Project: South Carolina | LENSCRATCH

Michelle Van Parys is a beacon in our photographic community here in South Carolina. To say Michelle is hardworking would be an understatement. She built the photo program twenty years ago at the College of Charleston, hired the leading darkroom architect to outfit a workspace for her students, and continues to run her own show all the while making work, publishing and teaching.

A Collective Determined to Share the Untold American Stories

Just recently, a handful of talented photographers launched American Reportage, a collective dedicated to telling stories about the American experience. Founded by photographers Pete Marovich, Justin Merriman, Brian Plonka, Jeff Swensen, Kathleen Flynn and Adria Malcolm, the goal is for its members to produce in-depth stories of people and communities whose voices often go unheard.  

We spoke with two of the founding photographers, Justin Merriman and PhotoShelter member Pete Marovich, about the inspiration behind the project.

John Lusk Hathaway: The States Project: South Carolina | LENSCRATCH

Although we have yet to meet in person, I feel in some ways I know John Lusk Hathaway by the kind of images he makes—down to earth and honest.

For five years now John Lusk Hathaway has been traversing the low country in South Carolina, making connections, driving back roads, taking his time with folks, sometimes with a camera and sometimes without. All the while gaining trust and listening to stories so he can make pictures. It is no wonder his perspective makes us feel we are both a part of while at the same time acknowledging we are not from.

Amid Crisis, Venezuela’s Youth Wait to Live Again – The New York Times

Adriana Loureiro Fernández’s images of the protests and street clashes in Venezuela are dark — masked figures emerging from shadows, backlit by flames or wrapped in swirls of tear gas. People flash a gun or a knife, or show off stones that would soon be launched at police. She gets up close, which is bold considering she once had a fear of crowds. Still, she has gotten used to pushing herself, physically and emotionally, as she witnesses the political chaos that continues to upend her homeland.

Photos of a Strange and Beautiful Australian Mining Town – Feature Shoot

In 2008, French photographer Antoine Bruy spent a year in Australia. When he returned home, he planned to bring with him more than a hundred rolls of film. All of them were lost. “Since then, I kept thinking of going back, to do something about this place,” the artist says.

What The Photo Editor of VanityFair.Com Wants

Last month I was flipping through Vanity Fair, when I caught Chiara Marinai’s name on the masthead. Chiara is the Photo Editor of VanityFair.com, which means any imagery you see on their site goes through her first.

I connected with Chiara over email to find out a little more about what her role entails, including some of her biggest challenges, her specific photography needs, and the one thing she does before making a final decision about a photographer.

Twenty-five years after the siege of Sarajevo, exploring the city’s colorful palette – The Washington Post

The images were etched in photographer Nick Otto’s mind as he recently traveled to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Desaturated and monochrome images of war and destruction from the 1990s. The siege of Sarajevo had been the longest siege of a major city in modern warfare. San Francisco-based Otto aimed to tell the story of a city still mired in a long recovery from the fog of war, with high unemployment and a lagging economy. However, when he got on the ground and started working, a different picture began to emerge.

Many people can’t tell when photos are fake. Can you? – The Washington Post

In a test designed by Nightingale and taken by more than 700 men and women, participants could tell an image was faked only 60 percent of the time — a little better than if they guessed completely at random. And with the correct picks, only 45 percent of participants could pinpoint what had been changed in a photo. (Men were slightly more adept at finding the specific change.)

Finding Visual Poetry in Russia – The New York Times

A woman bundles up behind a jumble of mismatched chairs. A man at a table leans into his palm. A veiled woman averts her eyes as she steps into the light. Some of these photos are sentences, others phrases, and still others seem to be straight out of a Joseph Brodsky poem. For Igor Posner, they represent the “half-seen, half-recollected” return to his hometown — St. Petersburg — where he had not been since coming to America as a 20-year-old Jewish refugee in the early 1990s.

Powerful portraits confront the politics of race and representation – Feature Shoot

Visual activist photographer Zanele Muholi has her first solo exhibition opening this month at the East London gallery Autograph ABP. For more than a decade, she has focused on documenting black LGTBQI people in South Africa. Her ongoing portrait series Somnyama Ngonyama was inspired by her experiences on the road and the socio-political events she encountered along the way. Using her body as a canvas, her psychologically driven portraits confront the politics of race and representation.

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